Posted: Aug 9, 2012 11:53 AM
Western and especially Southwest Montana was hit the hardest with thick smoke this morning. Most air quality conditions are good to moderate with areas of unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups. Most of the readings are for long term exposure (24 hours or 8 hours), but monitors show that if you were to stand outside for a full hour or less, air quality would be generally good to moderate.
The DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) has updated the AQI (air quality index) for the following areas due to increased forest fire smoke from fires in Idaho, Wyoming and western Montana.
Unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups for Hamilton, Butte and Frenchtown. Increased aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; increased respiratory effects in the general population. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion.
Air quality conditions are Moderate for Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls, West Yellowstone, Helena and Seeley Lake. Possibility of aggravation of heart or lung disease among persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.
The attached 1km visible satellite image from this morning shows areas of widespread smoke and haze from Missoula to Great Falls to Butt and Bozeman.